2023 35th Annual BC Japanese Speech Contest

The annual Japanese speech contest was held in person with full capacity on March 4th at the Asian Centre Auditorium in UBC in which 20 UBC students competed as finalists.

The finalists were: Corey Chan, Helen Huang, Brady Reeleder, Heao Sun, Kristy Han, Forest Kobayashi, Harry Kwon, Shu-Chi (Gigi) Liew, Brien Lo, Raymond Mok, Serena Pong, Mattias Sorensen, Christopher Chenghao Wang, Johnny Chen, Vandhana Kammampati, Ingrid Abigail Mas, Joon Woo Park, Ryan Zhao, Naruhito Kruschen, and Tielia Young.

All contestants as well as student volunteers were able to showcase their skills and dedication to learning the Japanese language and did an exceptional job!

Dr. Clare Haru Crowston, Dean of the Faculty of Arts delivered remarks at the opening ceremony

The event was attended by guests from in and outside of UBC. Dr. Clare Haru Crowston, Dean of the Faculty of Arts delivered remarks at the opening ceremony. The Consul General of Japan, Mr. Kohei Maruyama delivered remarks at the opening of the award ceremony and presented awards to the winners of the University and Open Divisions. Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh, Head of the Department of Asian Studies presented awards to the winners of the High School Division, and delivered closing remarks.

Participants Receiving Achievement Certificates

Brady Reeleder, Serena Pong, Joon Woo Park, and Tieling Young won the first prize in the Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Open categories respectively, and will present their speeches at the Canadian National Japanese Language Speech Contest in Toronto on March 26.The contest was livestreamed thanks to the Department’s communications and events team, Connie and Grace, and it is available to watch here :


This year’s in-person contest was again supported by the Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver, local sponsors, and local Japanese language educators. The event was well-attended, welcoming an audience of over 150 people. Particularly, the award ceremony was filled with warm lively ambience. The Japanese Language Program is very proud of the high-quality performance and the achievements of all UBC students at the contest!

Photos by Justin Chan, Ashley Cheng, Nicole Chin and Jarrick Cho